Mugs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are made for kids and others are made for adults. Line them up on a shelf in the kitchen for easy morning or night retrieval. They are practical to have and to give as a gift.

For kids, or kids at heart, we have a great assortment of animal-themed mugs at west elm. Hot chocolate just tastes better in a mug with a design of dogs, pandas, lambs or monkeys. Top it off with a marshmallow, sprinkles and chocolate shavings for a dreamy cocoa. Use small serving bowls or measuring cups for the toppings, and the kids can fix their own mug, which adds to the enjoyment and gives them some independence in the kitchen. Put soup in the bowl, add some crackers and lunch is ready.

The stoneware grand mugs are large enough for adults to serve soup or cereal. Use a long, narrow tray to serve crackers for the soup or toast for the cereal. If you’re serving a crowd, use one of the larger lacquered or wooden trays to hold more. Put some sliced cheese on the tray for the crackers and a dollop or two of jelly for the toast for a nice table presentation.

Coffee enthusiasts will love sipping coffee out of the textured, speckled or spotted mugs. Tea drinkers will enjoy the teacup and saucer to hold the leftover tea bags or loose leaf tea. Keep some cool kitchen towels around for inevitable coffee or tea spills. These dish towels feature catchy sayings, interesting designs and names of cities around the world. They are great conversation starters while you are wiping up spills.

For grown-up drinks, a copper Moscow Mule mug is ideal for keeping the drinks cold. Be sure to have bar tools and mixers on hand for making cocktails. Mix this signature drink of vodka, sugar, lime and ginger beer in a shaker. Garnish it with a little lime and fresh mint for a refreshing treat. Mojitos and other mixed drinks can also be served in the copper mugs. Virgin cocktails, lemonade and iced tea are delicious and cold served in them too.

Mugs are universal for hot and cold beverages and foods, and a variety of shapes and sizes come in handy. Metallic hearts and love mugs are nice to have for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and special occasions. They can be filled with treats, wrapped up with cellophane, then tied with colorful ribbon to be given as a gift. Put one at your loved one’s breakfast plate to start the day off right. A little mug can go a long way.

Mugs make super teacher gifts. Fill a brightly colored glazed mug with candles for an end of the year gift. The coffee mug will be nice to have on his or her desk in the early mornings before class begins to get some caffeine. The candle is something the teacher can use at home while relaxing in a bubble bath or when having a glass of wine at the end of the day. Teachers deserve a little kickstarter for their day and a way to wind down at night.

Another gift idea is to tie balloons to a mug, so it will serve as a base to keep the balloons from floating away. Place a small dessert plate underneath for support. Fill the mug with chocolates, candy and cookies to give as a festively delicious gift. This is great for birthdays, Mother’s or Father’s Day or as a congratulatory gift. The mugs will last even when the balloons are gone and the fillings have been eaten up.